Of course, charter schools aren't that new, and haven't been the panacea that everyone claims we don't expect them to be.
Yikes — I'm tired already. Who'd want to miss the opportunity, though, to take a magical mystery tour through the labyrinthine depths of these candidates' unique views on education? Come, friends: I think and judge it for thy best / Thou follow me, and I will be thy guide, / And lead thee hence through the eternal place, / Where thou shalt hear the desperate lamentations, / Shalt see the ancient spirits disconsolate, / Who cry out each one for the second death.
Jeff has chosen education as his go-to issue, and Sen. Henry's camp has responded in kind. As education is certainly one of my top issues (as I'm sure it is to many Pith readers out there), I thought it would be worth taking a look at the candidates' positions and experience in educational matters in advance of actual voting (I'm in District 21 and have already cast my vote — don't ask!).
So, where do both candidates fall? Let's go to the videotape!
A few weeks back, Jennifer Easton (of the News Examiner) wrote a story about the Sumner County School Board's proposal to require teachers to disclose their union membership. The proposal has stimulated quite the outcry from the Sumner County Education Association, who has, according to Easton's article, promised a lawsuit if it moves forward. However, before getting into the legality of such a proposal (were it to pass), you need some background.
The short version: Tennessee is kind of schizophrenic when it comes to unions.
As I prepare for the final push towards who might need to repeat… I want to make sure that you are averaging grades correctly.
At the end of the grading period, nothing less than a 50 is to be averaged. If students had zeroes, or other grades less than 50%, those grades are to be averaged as 50’s.
Look this over. I’ll be checking grade books again before we run report cards next week.
At the time of this post, Dr. Ide has not offered comment. As near as I can tell, this policy calls for pretty blatant grade inflation. Students who might otherwise have zeroes bringing down their GPA (or any other low grades below 50) get the benefit of having those scores raised.
The question is whether this is a district policy, an unofficial way of doing business, or an isolated incident.
Though it maybe isn't the best bill in the world, it's really not that objectionable. It doesn't call for teachers to carry guns to school or refrain from saying magic, evil words to our kids. And yet the Education Committee, with 44 bills on its agenda, spent the whole session discussing it, before breaking for lunch and promising to "come back later" to finish up the rest of the agenda.
As if that will happen.
With apologies to Tony Banks (he of Genesis fame), this is just another example of our legislators wasting time and keeping the wheels turning. There are numerous pressing issues facing Tennesseans these days, many of them having to do with education. With a limited number of legislative days available, it's inexcusable that so much time would be spent on such an inconsequential bill. The wheels on the bus may be going 'round and 'round, but the bus ain't moving, as far as I can tell.
Now comes news out of the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals that may signal a sea change in the way off-campus behavior relates to school discipline.
A charter school already operating in North Nashville is the front-runner to take over Cameron Middle, where students have struggled for years to meet state testing benchmarks.
The Metro school board will vote Tuesday on whether Cameron becomes Tennessee's first public school taken over at a school district's request. A school district committee charged with reviewing the three applicants is recommending LEAD Academy in Nashville over Memphis Academy of Science and Engineering and the William E. Doar Public Charter School for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
LEAD's high expectations, attention to detail and "whatever it takes" attitude set it apart, the committee wrote in its report to the board.
I completely respect what the folks over at LEAD are doing, and I think they've got an excellent plan for running a premier charter school. After all, the Gates Foundation certainly thought they were good enough. Why, then, am I a wee bit dissatisfied?
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What a foolish story and waste of time. Again!
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